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Cristian Dixon’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2023

Dixon could be a potential dark-horse in the receiving race for Michigan football this season,

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Championship-Iowa vs Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt the Michigan Wolverines football receiving room is loaded with talent. If you were to segment it off into tiers, Tier 1 would primarily include veterans like Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson. Tier 2, however, is a more interesting thought. Tyler Morris and Darrius Clemons seem like obvious choices to battle it out for minutes at WR3, while spring standout Peyton O’Leary is also expected to get more of a nod.

There’s a drop off between Tier 2 and Tier 3, and it’s within that drop off you find junior receiver Cristian Dixon. Perhaps the least talked-about receiver, he is an intriguing dark-horse candidate that you could possibly pencil some playing time in for this season.

The story so far

Dixon hails from Mater Dei High School in southern California. His quarterback was none other than last season’s Heisman winner, Bryce Young. His senior season was postponed due to COVID, but as a junior, he had 35 receptions for 611 yards and six touchdowns.

Prior to his time at Mater Dei, Dixon attended Pomona Diamond Ranch, where he was equally explosive, reeling in 42 passes for 862 and nine touchdowns as a sophomore.

Dixon committed to the Wolverines in the 2021 recruiting class. He was heavily sought after by multiple programs such as Oregon, Texas A&M, USC, Nebraska, LSU, Washington State and Cal.

At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Dixon has all of the measurables to be a threat at the position, but he has only one catch for seven yards since his freshman season.

Outlook for 2023

While we haven’t seen much of Dixon since his appearance against the Huskies, It’s evidenced by his social media he intends to continue trusting the process at Michigan until his time comes. A quality that Jim Harbaugh has shown to be high on.

The ugly reality for Dixon is Michigan will only have a certain number of seats at the table come crunch time. It’s been said by Harbaugh that he anticipates the offense will feature 50/50 utilization of both the passing and running game, but with two all-star caliber backs accompanied by a deep stable, it remains to be seen how likely that is.

Still, the potential for Dixon is undoubtedly there, and the 2023 season will be a “make it or break it” year for him in terms of cracking the rotation.